(Washington, D.C.) – Congressmen Charlie Dent (PA-15) and Mark Meadows (NC-11) announced the introduction today of legislation to provide a one-year extension of Tier 1 Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits that includes three specific measures promoting new job creation and preserving current jobs and wages.

Their proposed legislation, titled the GROWTH (Generating Real Opportunities for Workers and Transitional Help) Act, would extend unemployment benefits for an additional 12 months while reforming the program to limit the length of time a recipient is eligible for benefits.  It also includes the following bipartisan measures to promote economic growth:

1.)   approving the Keystone Pipeline, allowing construction to begin on the project and potentially creating approximately 42,000 direct and indirect jobs;

2.)   repealing the job-killing, innovation-stifling Medical Device Tax, potentially saving 43,000 jobs; and

3.)   restoring the 40 hour work week – not the 30 hours currently stipulated in the health care law’s formula, protecting workers from having their hours cut or jobs eliminated.

The Dent-Meadows legislation offsets costs of the extension of benefits by cracking down on fraudulent Child Tax Credit claims and eliminating the ability to claim benefits from both Unemployment Insurance and disability.

Statement of Congressman Charlie Dent:

This is a common sense proposal that continues to provide assistance to those who have lost their jobs and are looking for work while at the same time addressing the underlying problem of unacceptably high unemployment and slow economic growth.

We must recognize families are still utilizing federal emergency unemployment benefits because of the dismal job market in so many communities across the country. The GROWTH Act ties the need for immediate assistance with policies that we know will either create new opportunities for workers or save jobs from being eliminated, forcing more Americans onto the unemployment rolls.    

Statement of Congressman Mark Meadows:

The state of the job market in our nation is unacceptable.  Millions of Americans, including far too many in Western North Carolina, continue to search for work without success.  Though the federal government is considering another extension for unemployment benefits, isn’t that only another bandage for the real problem?

Extending unemployment benefits without doing anything to create jobs simply forces us to repeat that same action again and again.  We have extended these benefits 11 times over the past five years, clearly demonstrating the need for a more effective solution. 

The GROWTH Act is a conservative approach that makes necessary reforms to the unemployment insurance program while bolstering job creation.  This plan includes measures to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse within the unemployment benefits system while reducing the amount of time a person is eligible to receive these benefits.  By green-lighting construction of the Keystone Pipeline, repealing the medical device tax and restoring the 40-hour work week, this proposal also lays a solid, commonsense foundation for economic growth.  We encourage our colleagues to support this legislation to assist our fellow Americans who need a helping hand while addressing the root causes of joblessness through conservative solutions.

Note:  The Dent-Meadows GROWTH Act incorporates provisions from legislation or amendments previously advanced by Representatives Erik Paulsen (MN-03), Todd Young (IN-09), Dan Lipinski (IL-03) and Senator Robert Portman (OH.)  Please see the attached overview sheet for more information.

Contact: Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490